Deputies: Teen girl fatally shot in Pine Hills was missing runaway, linked to human trafficking case

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The 16-year-old girl found shot to death in an Orange County neighborhood was a runaway who had been missing for nearly two months before her death, deputies said.


Deputies found the teen’s body in the Pine Hills area Monday night, and her killer is still on the loose.

The missing persons report details the final moments the public saw 16-year-old De’Shayla Ferguson before she disappeared on Aug. 12.

DCF Staff described her as a habitual runaway.

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Ferguson was supposed to show up in court on Oct. 13 for a human trafficking case. An employee said Ferguson became “argumentative with staff” and left a short time later.

The report said she was last seen wearing a blue hat and pink shirt.

Ferguson had been out of school for more than a year by the time she went missing. The Orange County School District said she went to Edgewater High School for a short time.

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DCF staff said she was staying at Embrace Families, the Social Services Center next door that cares for children who suffer from abuse or neglect.

The group cited Florida law to prohibit confirming or denying contact with Ferguson, but said in part, “Like all of us in Central Florida, we at Embrace Families are hurting and heartbroken today. Any child death is a tragedy. The murder of a child is horrific and devastating.”

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.